Of all the dangers a cyclist faces, the appearance of a pursuing dog is one of the most dangerous and unpredictable. Not everyone has the same way of dealing with dogs while biking.
Since many cyclists fail to deal with dogs while riding fast, it’s important to redirect the dogs in other ways. To help you in this particular situation, we’ve compiled a list of ways to keep dogs out of your path while biking.
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- 14 Ways To Keep Dogs Away While Cycling
- 1. Pepper Spray
- 2. Squirting Water from Water Bottle
- 3. Dog Bones
- 4. Air Horn
- 5. Firecracker
- 6. Bear Spray
- 7. Playing Dead
- 8. Yelling and Talking (STAY BACK, NO, OFF)
- 9. Throwing Stones to Divert Attention
- 10. Offer Dog Treats
- 11. Cycling Harder
- 12. Carry A Stick
- 13. Do Not Make Eye Contacts with Dog
- 14. Talk to the dog!
- Final Words
14 Ways To Keep Dogs Away While Cycling
First of all, you need to know that dogs chase cyclists because of their instinct. That’s why it’s not an excellent solution to chase dogs away from your path while cycling. There’s always a risk of clashing with the dog.
There are some interesting solutions, for example, using spray water or pepper spray. All you need to do is to understand the dog’s intuition. This is very important so that you can use methods that won’t harm the dogs and your energy while cycling at the same time. You can also just stop riding, and when you stop, the dogs will often also stop chasing.
1. Pepper Spray
A pepper spray works pretty well to stop dogs from chasing. But not all countries have legalized the use of pepper spray. Canada is one of the countries where the paper spray is considered a prohibited weapon.
If you use pepper spray against dogs, you’ve to stop cycling. This way, the dogs can stay within the spraying distance.
2. Squirting Water from Water Bottle
Sometimes squirting water works well to keep dogs away when cycling.
But if a dog is coming from the front, there’s a risk that it’ll get under the wheels. It can be challenging to get your water bottle and squirt in this case.
3. Dog Bones
Dog bones can sometimes save you. This is because they’re durable for chewing, and they can keep dogs busy instead of chasing you.
4. Air Horn
The Air horn helps scare off chasing dogs while cycling. Without precise aiming, you can simply point the horn in a particular direction at the dogs. Then when you press the button, it’ll go off. The blast will end the chase of the dog that’s heading towards you.
Also, the air horn buys the cyclists enough time to create a distance between the dogs and the rider.
Using a firecracker is another way to keep dogs away from you while biking. Firecrackers, which are easy to carry, usually explode when they hit a robust surface.
If dogs come your way, you’ll need to throw a firecracker or dog popper to keep them from chasing you.
6. Bear Spray
Using pepper spray doesn’t work the way they expect it to for many cyclists. In this case, they recommend bear spray, even though it’s inconvenient to carry around.
Since it’s difficult to keep dogs away, you need to make sure you can get the bear spray out quickly.
Read more: How To Carry Bear Spray On Bike?
7. Playing Dead
If you get caught in an all-out dog attack, the alternative defense strategy would be to act as a dead human.
Without screaming or rolling around, you can curl up into a ball, put your hands over your ears and stay just as still.
8. Yelling and Talking (STAY BACK, NO, OFF)
When you yell words like “no,” “off,” and “stay back,” it’s clear to any dog what you’re up to. Trained dogs understand what you’re trying to say by yelling. They may stop chasing you, but other, untrained dogs may not.
In the situation described above, you can try waving your arm as if you’re throwing something. All of the above also applies when you slow down or stop.
9. Throwing Stones to Divert Attention
If you throw some small stones, it doesn’t mean that you’re hurting dogs. It’s a useful alternative to distract your dogs in another direction.
Whenever a dog comes towards you, you’ve to throw the stones back. This way, the cyclist can also keep a proper distance from the dog.
10. Offer Dog Treats
If a dog is waiting by the side of the road during your bike ride, you can keep him from chasing you by offering him dog treats.
He might expect this kind of treatment from you every day, and your cost of buying treats might go up.
Related reading: How to Lock Your Helmet to Your Bicycle?
11. Cycling Harder
Generally, dogs can run a mile between fifteen and thirty miles per hour. To get rid of chasing a dog, you can use a large chainring to try to outrun the animal.
12. Carry A Stick
You have seen many dogs playing with a stick. You can try to trick the dog into playing with the stick and leaving you alone.
Or you can decide to use the stick as a defensive tool. You can carry a medium-sized stick and throw it when the dog comes near you.
13. Do Not Make Eye Contacts with Dog
If you make eye contact, it means that you are interested in making contact with dogs. Dogs are provoked by this eye contact and are more easily enticed to chase.
So avoid eye contact and step on it when you can!
14. Talk to the dog!
Dogs are fascinated when they perceive the bike as a wild animal to chase. If you get off the bike and talk to the dog, he may realize that you’re just a human and not something to be chased. Sometimes dogs need human companionship, LOL.
The thought of getting off the bike and talking to the dog may be scary. You should keep the other tactics as plan B if your plan to befriend the dog fails.
Related reading: How to Carry Musical Instruments on Bike?
Dogs can appear out of nowhere. Call them trained or aggressive. If you’re unsuccessful in deterring dogs because of their aggressiveness, contact your local animal control agency and inform them. It would benefit you and other cyclists if a complaint against dogs was written.
Also, talking to the dog owners can help you avoid the situation in the future. A better solution to keep dogs away while cycling is to distract them instead of hurting them with something.